Here’s what happened the last time Mass Deportation was used to solve the ‘Immigration Problem’


The immigration problem is complicated and various people have different feelings about the subject. Some people believe that the best and only solution for the immigration problem is to conduct a mass deportation of illegal immigrants, which would be a bad decision according to history. The last mass deportation that the U.S. conducted lasted from 1921 to 1944 under the Mexican Repatriation Program. This deportation program sent 1 million Mexicans and Mexican Americans from California and 20 other states back to Mexico. The idea that immigrants are taking American jobs and resources, which is the view by people many now, played out ages ago and it peaked under President Herbert Hoover during the Great Depression of 1929-1933.

According to Marla A. Ramirez, a San Francisco State assistant professor of sociology, a million Mexican immigrants and their children were deported to Mexico under the Mexican Repatriation Program were they struggled in poverty and isolation, with the feeling that they were neither Mexican nor American. In an interview with the Sacramento Bee, Ramirez stated:

California began calling it the Repatriation Program, since legally, a U.S. citizen can’t be deported. There were discussions in the California and Texas legislatures about the ‘Mexican problem.’ In 1921, the Mexican Consulate bought tickets for Mexican workers whose employers refused to pay their way back. But during Hoover’s presidency, the person in charge of deportations promised to remove half a million people. In 1932, when Mexican immigrants in Los Angeles gathered on Sundays at La Placita Olvera, immigration officers surrounded the plaza, instructed people to get in line and literally walked them across the street to Union Station and placed them on trains. No one was allowed to prove they were U.S. citizens, legal residents or even Mexicans – some were Filipinos.

It is apparent that there is an issue with the immigration system, but it doesn’t seem like a mass deportation of illegal immigrants will actually solve many of the problems that people accuse illegal immigrants of doing. For instance, the Mexican Repatriation Program ended in 1933, but then the U.S. began to experience a worker shortage. By 1942, the U.S. was welcoming back foreign workers into the country because of World War II under the Bracero Program until 1964. A new solution needs to be created to solve the immigration issue because, as history shows, a mass deportation of illegal immigrants isn’t the best solution.

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